The Prime Buyer's Report

The definitive guide to local shopping; methodically researched, updated daily.

San Francisco Bay Area Edition

Prime Buyers Guide Smog Check Centers

How to Find the Best Smog Testing in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA

With California's car emission laws, every car must have a smog check periodically. Older cars may have more difficulty passing a smog test, but good smog test centers can give you recommendations on how to meet California emissions guidelines. There are many smog test stations in Santa Clara County and good smog test technicians can perform your smog emissions test quickly and efficiently.

The following research by The Prime Buyer's Report identifies the best smog testing in Santa Clara County and issues related to smog checks.

Updated December 20, 2013

 The TOP 10 Smog Check Centers in Santa Clara County CA

Fast Smog
(408) 871-9484
3030 Winchester Blvd # A
Campbell, CA 95008

Mountain View Smog Test Only
(650) 938-7664
571 W El Camino Real
Mountain View, CA 94040

Sunnyvale Smog Test Only
(408) 749-1964
620 Grape Ave # 102
Sunnyvale, CA 94087

Morgan Hill Smog Test Only
(408) 779-8899
195 San Pedro Ave # 5
Morgan Hill, CA 95037

Palo Alto Smog Test Only Center
(650) 630-7664
4200 El Camino Real # 2
Palo Alto, CA 94306

Quick Smog Check Center
(408) 970-0008
2420 Lafayette St
Santa Clara, CA 95050

South County Smog Test Center
(408) 848-6164
8870 Forest St
Gilroy, CA 95020

How to Find the Best Smog Testing in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA 


Smog check stations in Santa Clara County CA must be licensed by the State as protection for consumers.  They are not required by law to have liability insurance; however, all emission testing services bearing The Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 symbol do have that liability insurance coverage to reimburse you in the event of any damage to your vehicle, in addition to passing all other requirements for Prime Buyer's Report—TOP 10 status such as our survey phone calls to their previous customers verifying high satisfaction, hiring only documented workers, verified license, clean complaint record, and more.


Smog Tests in Santa Clara County CA
Passing the smog test is important because the California DMV requires owners to present a smog certificate, a document detailing emissions test results, within 90 days of renewing vehicle registration.

Another important aspect of emissions testing in Santa Clara County is whether or not the smog check station can, if your vehicle fails to pass a smog test, fix your vehicle so it can pass the smog test. Smog Test Only stations are prohibited by law from performing diagnosis or repairs of any kind. Others known as Test-and-Repair stations are licensed to perform official smog inspections and smog repairs.

As of January 1 2013, the Gold Shield Smog Check Station program has been replaced by STAR stations. Some STAR smog stations are licensed as test-only and others are licensed to do both smog tests and repairs. Your DMV registration renewal notice might state your vehicle requires a smog check at a STAR station, which makes yours a "directed vehicle" because it has been proactively directed to a STAR certified station. Additionally, vehicles that fail an emissions test at very high emission levels are considered "gross polluters" and then must receive certification specifically from a STAR-certified station.



Check Out the Choices of Smog Check Stations in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA
There are many auto smog check centers to choose from, ranging from the cheap smog inspection stations to those smog test shops that can perform repairs to guarantee a smog check pass. The Prime Buyer's Report lists contact information for the following smog check stations in Santa Clara County: Mountain View Smog Test Only, Fast Smog, South County Smog Test Center, Morgan Hill Smog Test Only, Palo Alto Smog Test Only Center, Quick Smog Check Center, Sunnyvale Smog Test Only. Other smog test stations that might still serve Santa Clara County include: .

Some Smog Check Services in Santa Clara County Are A Better Value Than Others
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these smog check stations in Santa Clara County CA: Mountain View Smog Test Only, Fast Smog, South County Smog Test Center, Morgan Hill Smog Test Only, Palo Alto Smog Test Only Center, Quick Smog Check Center, Sunnyvale Smog Test Only. Other shops for smog testing in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA that might still be in business include: .

 

 

A Guide To Finding Good Smog Test Centers in Santa Clara County CA 

Step 1: Understand the Rules of Smog Testing in Santa Clara County CA
You may think your car drives exactly the same as it did when you last passed a smog check, but driveability doesn't mean your car will pass a smog test. If your vehicle is fairly new, you don't necessarily need to provide a California smog certificate, but if your vehicle is older, it may not pass smog even though it passed last year. If you are aware of any problems or symptoms that could affect your car's ability to pass a smog check, describe those symptoms clearly and accurately to the smog test technician.

Step 2: Ask & Answer Questions of the Smog Test Stations in Santa Clara County.
The smog center should not only ask about the symptoms, but also your history with the vehicle, any previous problems and even driving habits. Select the most appropriate questions from the list below to supplement what you've already learned. Take notes on the answers you receive.

How long have you been doing smog tests in Santa Clara County?
Do you often do smog tests and/or repairs on my particular model/year of car?
If there is a problem passing the smog test, can you fix the problem once you've found it?
Will you contact the DMV to report my vehicle's smog test results?
When doing repairs, do you use original equipment (OEM) parts, other new parts, or used parts?
Will work performed by your shop affect my manufacturer's warranty?
Will you provide a written, itemized estimate for the smog test and smog repairs?
Will you provide a written contract for the smog test and smog repairs?
What process do you go through to price the smog test and work?
What type of warranty on smog testing and for smog work will you provide?
How long should it take to complete the work?
Do you provide loaner cars while my vehicle is being smogged?
If the smog repair work involves a damaged component, what was the failure?

Step 3: The Preliminary Decision Among Good Smog Testing Stations in Santa Clara County CA.
After you've interviewed good smog check stations in Santa Clara County, narrow the field. Remember that a good smog technician should be working with you to help get your vehicle smogged and registered.

Step 4: Final Research on Smog Test Centers in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA.
Make sure you've got all the information you need before deciding. What credentials do the smog centers have? What about the employees? Does the company have a good reputation? Verify licensing, insurance, and other certifications.

Step 5: The Final Decision on The Best Smog Testing Centers in Santa Clara County For You
Call for any final questions, and if your vehicle will be repaired by the smog station, ask the mechanic to provide a written and signed pricing, timing, quality, and warranty agreement.

 

 

Resources About Smog Checks in Santa Clara County 

Regulatory Bodies & Trade Associations Related to Smog Testing in Santa Clara County CA
AAA American Automobile Association (http://www.aaa.com/)
AASP Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (http://www.autoserviceproviders.com/)
ADS American Driving Society (http://www.americandrivingsociety.org/)   
AIAG Automotive Industry Action Group (http://www.aiag.org/)
AIRNow (http://www.airnow.gov/)
ALA American Lung Association of California (http://www.caifornialung.com/)
APAA Automotive Parts & Accessories Association (http://www.apaa.org/)
ARB California Air Resources Board (http://www.arb.ca.gov/)
ASA Automotive Service Association (http://www.asashop.org/)
ASE Automotive Service Excellence (http://www.asecert.org/)
BAR Bureau of Automotive Repair: Smog Check Menu (http://www.smogcheck.ca.gov/)
BBB Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.com/)
CARB California Air Resources Board (http://www.arb.ca.gov/)
CSAA California State Automobile Association (http://www.csaa.org/)
Diamond Certified www.diamondcertified.org
STS Service Technicians Society (http://www.sts.sae.org/)


Media Regarding Smog Checks in Santa Clara County

4wd Magazine
Automotive News
Autoweek
Autofan
Automotive News
Automotive Rebuilder
Brake & Front End
Car and Driver
Car Mechanics Magazine
Detroit News
Import Car
Motor Age
Motor Trend
Popular Hot Rodding
Rebuilder Direct
Recyclers World
Road And Track
Super Chevy
Street Rodder
Truckin
Today's SUV
Turbo And High Performance Magazine
Underhood Service
US Auto News
VW Trends
Vette



The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Smog Tests in Santa Clara County CA within the following zip codes:

95120, 95054, 95071, 95108, 95123, 95110, 95155, 95154, 95157, 94088, 94309, 95152, 95115, 95117, 95112, 95141, 95150, 95160, 95170, 94306, 95014, 95101, 95015, 94024, 95070, 95011, 95046, 95130, 95035, 94022, 94085, 94023, 95161, 95164, 95122, 95103, 95132, 95056, 95052, 94089, 94035, 95131, 95038, 95032, 94304, 95127, 95124, 95173, 95148, 95153, 95118, 94039, 95008, 95116, 95111, 95106, 95002, 94041, 95126, 95021, 95051, 95138, 95042, 95044, 95026, 94302, 95113, 95156, 94043, 94040, 95139, 95009, 95020, 95140, 95055, 94303, 95030, 95031, 95109, 94305, 95013, 95134, 94087, 95050, 94301, 95128, 95159, 95135, 95158, 95119, 95172, 94042, 95151, 95037, 95129, 95036, 94086, 95133, 95121, 95136 and 95125

 

The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Smog Checks in Santa Clara County CA within the following cities:

95120, 95054, 95071, 95108, 95123, 95110, 95155, 95154, 95157, 94088, 94309, 95152, 95115, 95117, 95112, 95141, 95150, 95160, 95170, 94306, 95014, 95101, 95015, 94024, 95070, 95011, 95046, 95130, 95035, 94022, 94085, 94023, 95161, 95164, 95122, 95103, 95132, 95056, 95052, 94089, 94035, 95131, 95038, 95032, 94304, 95127, 95124, 95173, 95148, 95153, 95118, 94039, 95008, 95116, 95111, 95106, 95002, 94041, 95126, 95021, 95051, 95138, 95042, 95044, 95026, 94302, 95113, 95156, 94043, 94040, 95139, 95009, 95020, 95140, 95055, 94303, 95030, 95031, 95109, 94305, 95013, 95134, 94087, 95050, 94301, 95128, 95159, 95135, 95158, 95119, 95172, 94042, 95151, 95037, 95129, 95036, 94086, 95133, 95121, 95136 and 95125

 

 

Tips About Smog Check Stations in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA 

Don't Smog Test Your Vehicle in Poor Condition.
If your vehicle sputters, stalls, or is otherwise running poorly, don't expect to pass the emissions test. Your inspection fee will be money wasted when the vehicle fails inspection. Repairing any obvious problems with your vehicle before the test will greatly improve your chances of passing your smog test.

Warm Up the Engine Before Your Smog Test.
A warmed-up engine will usually produce better emissions testing results. Internal-combustion engines need time to warm up in order to ensure efficient burning of the fuel in the cylinders. An warmed-up engine running at optimum levels will improve your chances of passing a smog test.

Try Over-the-Counter Products Before Taking Your Car to a Smog Center.
Fuel additives can be an ally in improving engine efficiency and lowering smog levels. Additives can clear carbon deposits and intake and exhaust systems helping fuel and air flow more freely and increasing your chances of passing a smog test.

Perform Some Routine Maintenance Prior to Having a Smog Check.
In certain California counties, enhanced inspections require the smog station to run your vehicle on a dynamometer. Make sure your tires are inflated evenly to recommended pressures to ensure top performance in this section. Also, have an oil change before your test so your engine is running at top efficiency.

Find Out if Your Vehicle Actually Needs a Smog Check.
Every time a vehicle is initially registered, and every two years after that, a smog check is required under California law. This applies to vehicles produced after 1976 that are powered by gasoline, propane, natural gas, and ethanol. Vehicles produced in 1975 or before are exempt from California's emissions laws. Vehicles four or six model-years old or newer are not required to perform a smog check until the vehicle is five or seven years old (unless the vehicle is sold or registered for the first time in California). Other exemptions include: Vehicles with diesel engines, vehicles with two-cycle engines, vehicles with engines smaller than 50 cubic inches of displacement, electric vehicles, and motorcycles, as well as hybrids.

Check Up On The Smog Center.
For all smog checks in Mountain View CA, be sure to check licensing, liability insurances, and any other relevant credentials before you sign. Understand that "Test Only" smog checks are performed at special facilities that are prohibited from performing repairs.


Keep In Touch With Your Smog Center.
When you have the slightest doubt about how a job is going, ask questions. As the tested vehicle's owner, you have the right to know about all aspects of the emissions testing process. Smog technicians can answer many questions about whether a vehicle will pass, and may be able to offer valuable advice on how to improve your vehicle's performance during a smog check.

 

 

Research on Smog Tests in San Jose, Mountain View, Los Gatos, Cupertino and Gilroy CA 


 

Common Smog Check Terms

 

  • Emission Control System - A vehicle exhaust system and the components that reduce smog. The exhaust system control components include: evaporative emissions and tailpipe emissions.

  • Exhaust / Exhaust Emissions - Pollutants comprising smog that are harmful to people and the environment, including lead, unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen oxides.

  • Exhaust Analyzer - The smog check service device that uses infrared energy to determine the composition of engine exhaust gases during a smog test. Exhaust analyzers found in smog check centers include a two-gas type that measures hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide and a four-gas type, which measures oxygen and carbon dioxide.

  • Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) - An emissions-control system that reduces smog by suppressing the production of nitrogen oxides and diluting the air / fuel mixture with exhaust gas so that cylinder combustion temperatures are lowered.

  • Exhaust Manifold - A component, usually made of cast iron, with passages that carry exhaust gases from exhaust ports to the exhaust system header.

  • Exhaust System - A system including tubing, mufflers, and catalytic converters that directs exhaust gases.



Smog Test Mt View CA

A Plus Smog Check Mountain View CA 94041-1311
Automotive Unlimited Mountain View CA 94040-1214
Cali Smog Tech Mountain View CA 94043-2814
Downtown Smog Center Mountain View CA 94041-1303
Jorge Smog Mountain View CA 94043-2576
Mountain View Smog Test Only Mountain View CA 94040-2641


Smog Test Palo Alto CA

Palo Alto Smog Test Only Center Palo Alto CA 94306-4486
SF Smog Test Only Smog Station Palo Alto CA 94306-4485
Smog Check Palo Alto CA 94301

 

 

Smog Test Milpitas CA

A-1 Smog Milpitas CA 95035-3149
Milipitas Test Only Milpitas CA 95035-6249
Milpitas Smog Check Milpitas CA 95035-3162
South Bay Test Center Milpitas CA 95035-6829

Smog Test San Jose CA

480 Keyes Test Only San Jose CA 95112-2415
735 First Test Only San Jose CA 95113-2813
AAA Speedy Smog San Jose CA 95129-1938
Accurate Smog San Jose CA 95116-2387
Adem's Test Only San Jose CA 95125-1245
Alum Rock 7 Day Smog San Jose CA 95116-2016
ASB Smog Check San Jose CA 95111-2000
Auto Smog San Jose CA 95125-1037
Blossom Hill Test Only San Jose CA 95123-3004
C&H Auto Smog Check San Jose CA 95112-4107
Camden Smog & Gas Co San Jose CA 95124-2840
Capitol & Senter Smog Test San Jose CA 95111-1257
City Smog Check Center San Jose CA 95123-2400
Coleman Test Only San Jose CA 95110-2027
Discount Smog Center San Jose CA 95133-1004
DTP Smog Test Only Center San Jose CA 95112-5230
Evergreen Smog San Jose CA 95122-1500
GIC Emission Control Center San Jose CA 95126
Happy Smog Check San Jose CA 95127-3921
Ist Automotive San Jose CA 95128-1618
Jose Smog Test Only San Jose CA 95125-1033
K T Smog San Jose CA 95136-1534
Kiely Smog Test Only Center San Jose CA 95129-1362
Long Super Auto Tech San Jose CA 95111-3630
Low Price Smog San Jose CA 95112-4722
Manna Smog Check Test Only San Jose CA 95126-3602
Monterey Test Only San Jose CA 95111-3113
Neighborhood Smog San Jose CA 95112-2941
New Express Smog San Jose CA 95127-4737
Proven Performance San Jose CA 95110-1036
Quality Express Smog Check San Jose CA 95127-2839
Reco Smog Test Only San Jose CA 95122
Sai Smog Test Only San Jose CA 95112-6134
San Jose Smog Test Only San Jose CA 95112-3900
Santa Teresa Beacon San Jose CA 95123-3856
Smog Plus San Jose CA 95128
Smog Tech Test Only Station 1 San Jose CA 95110-2630
Smoguys San Jose CA 95111-3204
Spartan Test Only San Jose CA 95125-1322
Story Road Smog Check San Jose CA 95122-2638
Sun Smog Only San Jose CA 95124-6240
Tang Sang San Jose CA 95112-3914
Test Only Station San Jose CA 95126-3734
Tony Smog Test Only San Jose CA 95116-2327
Tully Test Only Center San Jose CA 95111-1911
W San Carlos Smog Only Center San Jose CA 95126-3239
Winchester Smog Only San Jose CA 95128

 




 

Smog Test Cupertino CA

Cupertino Mercedes Cupertino CA 95014-5947


Smog Test Santa Clara CA

AAA Smog Test Only Santa Clara CA 95050-4606
Bosnak Auto Concepts & Smog Santa Clara CA 95051
Cordial Auto Center Inc Santa Clara CA 95054-2718
De La Cruz Smog Only Santa Clara CA 95050
One A Smoke Test Only Santa Clara CA 95051-2818
Quick Smog Check Center Santa Clara CA 95050-2910
Safety Check Automotive Santa Clara CA 95050-2505
Smog Man Santa Clara CA 95050-4608
Smog Master Santa Clara CA 95051-3003
Smog Pros Santa Clara CA 95050
Speedy Smog Test Only Santa Clara CA 95051-2823
Verizon Smog Santa Clara CA 95050-2521

 


Smog Test Sunnyvale CA

A Plus Smog Test Only Sunnyvale CA 94087-2917
AAA Speedy Smog Sunnyvale CA 94086
EZ Smog Sunnyvale CA 94086-6866
J's Smog Test Only Sunnyvale CA 94086-6253
SV Smog Testing Sunnyvale CA 94085-4423
Smog It Test Center Sunnyvale CA 94086-5741
Smog Me Sunnyvale CA 94087-3601
Sunnyvale Smog Test Only Sunnyvale CA 94087-1078
X-Smog Test Only Center Sunnyvale CA 94085-3534

 


 

Smog Test Campbell CA

Accurate Smog Check & Test Only Station Campbell CA 95008-6135
Fast Smog Campbell CA 95008-6566
Smog Doctor Inc Campbell CA 95008-6706
Campbell 7 Days A Week Smog Campbell CA 95008

Smog Test Los Gatos CA

Smog N Run Los Gatos CA 95032-5525
Smog N Run Los Gatos CA 95032-4415

 



 

Smog Test Gilroy CA

Accurate Smog Check & Test Gilroy CA 95020-6646
Advanced Smog Gilroy CA 95020-4200
Happy Smog Check Gilroy CA 95020-4520
Ken's Smog Test Only Gilroy CA 95020-4447
Old Town Smog Test Only Center Gilroy CA 95020-6945
South County Smog Test Center Gilroy CA 95020-3681

Smog Test Morgan Hill CA

Morgan Hill Smog Test Only Morgan Hill CA 95037-5139
Santa Clara County Smog Test Morgan Hill CA 95037-7835
TNT Smog Morgan Hill CA 95037-4607